Find meaningful ways to celebrate the holidays
Nina Chen, Ph.D., CFLE, Human Development Specialist, Jackson County, University of Missouri Extension
The holidays are a good opportunity to share lessons in kindness, generosity, compassion and faith with children. Making the season more about creating memories and traditions instead of getting gifts can help make a more meaningful Christmas. Here are a few tips to build meaningful holidays with your children.
- Focus on family traditions. Share the traditions
your family loves the most and explore ways to continue on some
holiday traditions as a family. If you don’t have family
traditions for holiday celebrations, start your new holiday
traditions by involving everyone in your family. These
traditions will teach children that they are part of the family
and become good memories for generations.
- Involve your children in giving gifts. Have your children help
make homemade gifts to learn the joy and value of making gifts
for others. This can become one of your family traditions that
adds meaning to gift giving. This gift making experience will
help children learn to care for others and make the holidays
- Teach children to give of themselves. Volunteering as a family
can teach children about helping those in need, and that giving
time and compassion is more worthwhile than receiving gifts.
Children can also learn the meaning of generosity and giving.
Volunteer opportunities include:
- Preparing Christmas dinners for the needy at a local church, homeless shelter or soup kitchen.
- Visiting with or giving homemade gifts to nursing home residents to brighten holiday spirits.
- Bringing homemade cookies or meals to needy families or the elderly.
- Helping elderly neighbors wrap gifts or decorate.
- Donating items to a food, coat or toy drive.
Last Updated 12/21/2015